I might as well not keep it a secret anymore that I seriously want to move to East Tennessee — and it is something I have discussed in detail with my wife and son. Well, last Thursday I had an interview in Knoxville for a job similar to what I’ve been doing for more than a decade. I have since decided not to take it, but we are serious about moving in the not-so-distant future — maybe for a job that will make me happier.

In this post I will describe my brief trip to Gatlinburg on Friday — since, of course, no trip to East TN is complete without a visit to the mountains no matter how long it lasts.

I woke up before the sun came up on a Friday morning at about 6, and I left my hotel in Sevierville– the one we stayed for one night in June — and drove into Gatlinburg. Since it was a weekday — and very early — there was little traffic with to contend, and I parked along River Road at about 7:30. As soon as I exited my car, I noticed someone parking in one of the $6 lots nearby. For those that don’t know, River Road is free parking, and I was about the fourth car parked on the road that stretches down about a half mile. I wanted to say something, but my introversion kicked in, and I just figured they probably parked there to be shaded from the sun (probably not, though).

I walked down to my usual breakfast spots when we vacation here: Donut Friar first, then Coffee and Company for my coffee with espresso (Shot in the Dark). After quenching my cravings for donuts and coffee, Gatlinburg style, I took a walk down to Old Dad’s — located at the far end of the Parkway — to buy a couple newspapers (I’m old-fashioned like that).

Taking a bite of the best and freshest donuts anywhere at The Donut Friar
Taking a break outside the Village with my coffee from Coffee and Company

The rest of my morning in Gatlinburg was spent taking a few pictures and doing a lot of thinking, while browsing through some of the shops after they opened. It was different walking through town knowing I couldn’t spend a bunch of money if I wanted, but that was alright, because frankly, I was just happy to be there.

Lunch was awful to figure out, since I knew I was leaving soon, so I did the one thing I have been wanting to do for a few years — sit at the bar in Smoky Mountain Brewery to have one of their tasty craft beers. I’m not a big drinker or someone who frequents bars, but something about the place made me want to do it — and I did, finally. Prior to going to the Brewery, I went back to Old Dad’s, as I remembered something the cashier said about their food when paying for the papers. They did not disappoint. For $6 I had a grilled chicken sandwich that solved my dilemma for lunch.

It was 2:30, and I wanted to visit the one person in town that knows more about me than anyone else here — and also makes some good food in her store too. That person is Lori ¬†from Farmhouse Home Goods in the Covered Bridge area of the Arts and Crafts Community on Glades Road. I told her about my situation from yesterday, and I had to buy a few things, because it always feels good to support small local businesses.

Farmhouse Home Goods at the Covered Bridge at the Glades

I left for home on Saturday feeling a bit bummed, but strangely happy. It’s a feeling that I haven’t been able to figure out, since I seem to get that way every time we leave our favorite vacation destination. I think maybe it’s just more motivation for making it our permanent home someday, and knowing that there will be a next time…and I will see y’all next time here too. Thanks for reading.